Rigoni’s – one of my favourite Italian spots in Adelaide quietly tucked away on Leigh Street along with some other great eateries down that now blocked street: COS, The Cornet Bistro, Udaberri, Ajisen Ramen and Casa Bla Bla. The restaurant is simple and clean located inside an old building with tall ceilings, red tiled floors, wooden furniture, white table cloths and a large island in the centre of the restaurant housing the bar with seating on one side.
I dined at Rigoni’s with a few girlfriends to celebrate one of our birthdays – a belated one at that but better late than never!
Small and light starters to share:
Bruschetta di avocado; $6.90
Good ol’ bruschetta with smashed avocado, roasted capsicum, frisee leaves, chunks of salty feta and a hefty squirt of basil pesto to really ‘green’ up the bread. A good balance of textures however I personally found it too salty for me (too much feta) but my fellow eaters didn’t seem to mind at all.
Carpaccio di tonno; $20.90
Every time I spy carpaccio on a menu, I more often than not have to order it – I don’t think I’ve met a carpaccio I didn’t like! This was no exception. The plate came out with generous amounts of Southern Bluefin tuna pieces, salty tangy cheese fritters with a light battered crunch that wasn’t overpowering and balanced exceptionally well with the sweet vibrant beetroot relish, crunchy rye crostini and crisp freshness from the cress. Devine!
Both great tasty starters that kicked off our appetite and a short wait later, our mains arrived.
Orecchiette con maiale: pork, asparagus, baby carrots, sun dried tomato, wild rocket and black truffle; $28.90
Penne con cozze e chorizo; $28.90
Seeing that I was at an Italian restaurant, I decided to stick to the basics and order a pasta dish. My pick for the night was the South Australian wholegrain penne pasta with black mussels, chorizo, chilli, kalamata olives, Napoli and fresh basil. Lots of punchy flavour and bite from the chorizo and chilli that had me sniffling towards the bottom of my bowl. I didn’t really have to do much to get the meat out of the mussel shells as most of them were lost within the pasta leaving empty shells waiting to be discarded in a provided bowl. A perfect carboholic bowl of pasta to warm ones belly during the wintry cold that we’re just about to say toodles to!
Contro filetto di maiale all’arrosto; $33.00
C’s main of pork was another winner for the night. Great smoky flavour from the char grilled pork scotch fillet with a smooth velvet jerusalem artichoke puree, red lentils, braised cabbage and a sweet beetroot-quandong relish. That relish just pulled all the elements together so well – yummo!
Luckily for myself, less than two weeks later and I’m back with The Stranger in tow. We dived straight into the bruschetta side of the entrees menu but this time ordering the bruschetta di pomodoro: fresh roma tomato, red onion, basil and extra virgin olive oil; $6.90 and bruschetta di prosciutto; $6.90. Between the two, I preferred the prosciutto bruschetta with its ‘smack in the face’ prosciutto slices being tamed by the sweet caramelized onion, peppery rocket leaves and salty and strong pecorino cheese. Mmmm~
Bruschetta di pomodoro; $6.90
Bruschetta di prosciutto; $6.90
Petto d’anatra alla griglia; $36.90
Tonno alla griglia; $36.90
For mains, we ordered the tonno alla griglia: grilled southern bluefin tuna with tarragon gnocchi, bacon, pine mushrooms, lemon relish and crayfish sauce; $36.90 and petto d’anatra alla griglia: grilled duck breast with confit duck tortellini, brussel sprout puree, black cherry relish and jus; $36.90.
I found my tuna main to be tasty and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet and tangy lemon relish wedged between the tuna steak pieces and wanted more of it to go with each mouthful. I didn’t care too much for the bacon pieces and thought it overpowered the dish. The Stranger’s duck was delectable. Grilled to perfection, juicy and sweet with al dente confit duck tortellini and the tastiest black cherry relish and jus. Lovely flavours and textures and look at all that sauce! 🙂 Thinking of visiting Rigoni’s soon? Get the duck!
We finished our meal off with a good ol’ tiramisu. Delicious!
Amazingly light and not overly sweet with an almond lace biscuit which could have been slightly snappier, a scoop of chocolate gelati that would satisfy anyone’s chocolate craving pangs, a tangy berry coulis to cut through the richness and a poached quince that scrunched both our faces in a manner that said ‘oh what the?!’. Every element on the plate complemented one another well but that quince was sooooo tangy and sour and incredibly spiced up with cinnamon… we just couldn’t go back to it. Aside from that, the tiramisu was a winner.
Rigoni’s mosaic at the front entrance
27 Leigh Street
Adelaide SA 5000
P 08 8231 5160